Prophetesses And Covered Heads
H. O. Hutto
Pleasant Grove, Alabama
In recent issues of Truth Magazine brother J. R. Pope has been discussing the questions of Bible Classes and Women Teachers. While not agreeing with everything that he has said nor with the use that he has made of every single scripture, I think that he has covered the subject rather effectively. I'm not sure, for example, that he has proved his point in limiting "women" in 1 Cor. 14:34-35 to the prophet's wives only. No doubt they are included, but that it refers to them only is quite another question. Then, too, several days ago a brother asked me to write an article and make some comments relative to bro. Pope's statements concerning 1 Cor. 11:1-16, and it is to that end that this is written.
When bro. Pope says, "the head covering of 1 Cor. 11...was a restriction upon the woman's exercise of her gift of prophecy... This restriction did not concern those women who did not prophesy, nor would it concern women after the gift of prophecy had been removed." I'm convinced that he says more than God has said. Some, though not all, of the reasons follow:
1. I Cor. 11:1-16 not only mentions "prophesying" but also mentions "praying". There is not even a hint that the instructions of 1 Cor. 11:1-16 was "restricted" to prophetesses. On the contrary, it concerned every woman praying". Surely all prayer was not "restricted" to prophetesses. Certainly there were women who were not prophetesses who could "pray". If they could "pray" then they must "cover their heads".
2. Furthermore, 1 Cor. 11:1-16 deals with men as well as women. If bro. Pope's contention is true, then men could have preached with their heads covered so long as their preaching was not prophesying! And if as bro. Pope says, this covering was a "restriction upon the woman's exercise of her gift of prophecy", then men could have prayed with their heads covered! Could men, even uninspired men, preach and pray with covered heads? Paul says in verse 7, "a man ought not to cover his head", and "every" man who does will "dishonor his head". Then, too, why would a man have to uncover his head to prophesy and yet not have to uncover his head to preach? If a man had to uncover his
head to prophesy would he not also have to uncover his head to preach? Why would not the same principles, which caused a man to then uncover his head while prophesying. also cause him to uncover his head while simply preaching--or praying?
3. If the teaching of 1 Cor. 11: 1-16 affected only women and only a very few of them, why the appeal to what "nature" taught?
4. Bro. Pope says, "To correct the erroneous views of men concerning the woman (that she is virtually worthless in the kingdom), God allowed certain women to do exactly what the men did concerning prophecy." I challenge that statement and call upon bro. Pope to prove that that was the reason God had prophetesses. I could just as well claim that God allowed certain women to prophesy so that women could receive some private instruction from an inspired sister in a class type arrangement wherein they would be allowed to ask questions.
That Bible Classes and Women Teachers (with some qualifications) are authorized, Bro. Pope and I both agree; that God had some women who could prophesy, bro. Pope and I both agree; and that these were to do so with heads covered, bro. Pope and I both agree. But that this covering does not "concern women after the gift of prophecy had been removed" bro. Pope did not prove by the scriptures; therefore, we differ.
We conclude that as long as man is "the image and glory of God" he "ought not" to cover his head while praying or prophesying, and as woman is the "glory of the man" it is uncomely for her to pray to God uncovered.
Truth Magazine VII: 12, pp. 1b